tv Dave Rubin Dont Burn This Book CSPAN November 13, 2021 7:29am-8:02am EST
to understand who these people are on a human level that they keep coming out for trump despite january 6th, despite what we know about january 6th, more than 500 people have been charged, people starting to receive prison sentences. it's not antifa, these are trump supporters and yet trump still maintains a strong hold on the party. >> to watch the rest of this program visit booktv.org, use the search box at the top of the page to look for michael bender, frankly we did win this election. >> watch booktv now on sunday on c-span2 or find it online anytime, booktv.org. television for serious readers.
>> host: dave rubin is author of "don't burn this book," his host of the ruben report. you dedicate this report to ben affleck. why is that? >> guest: i dedicated the book to ben affleck because ben was accidentally into a goal to my awakening. i was far left progressive, on the young turks network, youtube, there was a night about six years ago, very memorable night, when ben affleck was on real time with bill maher and was alongside sam harris, a neuroscientist who talks about mindful meditation, sam was releasing a book called wake up about spirituality without religion. they were talking about religion and the topic of radical islam came up and sam
made the point that you have to separate ideas meaning you should be to criticize any idea whether it is the republican party platform or the doctrine of christianity or in this case islam but you wouldn't want to be bigoted towards republicans or christians or muslims so separate ideas and people. that was the way sam laid it out and ben affleck became incredibly irritated and red in the face and pounding the desk, in essence calling bill maher and sam harris gross and racist, these ideas were gross and racist. was interesting to me because i had been seeing this on the progressive side for quite some time but seeing an a-list actor, the left probably speaking was no longer into debating ideas. if you said anything they were upset by you suddenly were a racist and bigoted homophobe
and everything else and over the next few months and years after that suddenly there was a slew of articles about how bill maher who was the standardbearer for the modern left for 20 or 30 years suddenly was a racist because that man in essence that it and that was one of three moments i go into in the book that really caused my awakening. even though ben is not thrilled, i did put him in. >> almost asked the start of a very bad joke which is what did david webb, charlie happen out and ben affleck have in common. what are the other two moments? >> the david webb moment, i assume most of you know david webb, a well-known conservative radio host who has been on sirius xm in the patriot channel, fox news contributor, often guest hosts for sean hannity and years ago i had a show on sirius xm, just starting out in the business
and david webb, we bumped into each other in the hallway, struck up a friendship and i started going on his show once a week or so it would debate from the left and he would debate from the right and we would go downstairs and have a steak and whiskey and we were good to go even though we disagreed politically we liked each other personally and that is the way politics used to be. flash forward a couple years i was honor at the younger turks and they were showing a clip of david webb on fox news and david webb happens to be black. he's a conservative at his skin, happens to be black. i don't think that defines him and he doesn't think that defines them and i was sitting with several my cohosts and they were talking about how he is an uncle tom etisalat, he couldn't really believe these things would somehow because as a black man he had to be a progressive, couldn't possibly be a conservative and as they were saying at what they didn't realize was i knew david webb and was and am friends with david webb and they are saying the worst possible things about him and i know him to be a forthright man who believes
what he says etc.. that moment crystallizes for me, you are the ones calling everyone else racist and when a black man says something you don't like you have license to call him the worst possible things, sellout, uncle tom, etc.. because it was so personal to me, not just a guy in a tv box but actually my friend, it made it obvious how backwards everything was. charlie have no -hebdo, several jihadists broke into the charlie have no -hebdo magazine, france has an incredible spirit of satire. the magazine had made fun of jews, christians, muslims,
political leaders in france. it was an equal opportunity offender. these jihadists were not happy in this case they were making fun of his and had a cover with mohammed on it and shot several cartoonists and writers. over the next couple days they were still out on streets, what was interesting about this profoundly horrific event, absolute assault on free speech and freedom of expression but probably speaking the left was suddenly defending the jihadists, don't poke the bear, don't make cartoons of things they don't want you to make fun of, don't talk about what they don't want you to talk about. this is very bizarre because progressives should be in staunch opposition to any totalitarian ideology.
free expression, you should say what you want, doesn't mean there are no repercussions, people can say things back to you but if we are to exist in a civil society should be able to say what you think and we should have a debate about that. you can't excuse violence but this idea that many call the soft bigotry of low expectations, talk about those people, those ideas, they can't take it, that's quite bigoted. i believe virtually everyone on earth regardless of skin color or gender or sexual orientation religion is equally capable of hearing ideas and exchanging those ideas. those three you can see a theme around all of them that i believe liberalism was about discussion and freedom of speech and unfortunately i think everyone sees this in 2021, that has little to do with what the modern progressive movement is.
>> host: you describe this book as a classic liberal today. >> a classical liberal is what i think most people think they mean when they say liberal but the word liberal has been looked up. a classical liberal, i am talking to jfk liberal. not what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. innocence you believe in individual rights and the rule of law and some level of laissez-faire economics, don't want the government to do everything that we should all be treated equally under the law. that is very different than modern liberalism, in essence progressivism which is about equity, not equality. they decided to rejigger the results of society based on skin color, sexuality, gender and all these things and that is quite anti-liberal.
on top of the fact the constant cries of calling everyone racists, bigots, homophobes and everything else disciple discussion is the most anti-liberal thing you can possibly do so when i say classical liberal i said equality for everyone under the law. if you live in america and you are here illegally, equality period, no exceptions and i want the government to have some guardrails on society. to a lot of people that sounds similar to libertarianism and i don't mind if someone calls me a libertarian but i want a small amount of guardrails just so society doesn't go off the range. i think most people are classical liberals, they just don't know it because the language has been so muffed up. >> in many circles it is conventional wisdom that the right wing is authoritarian and puritanical but you say it is the opposite. >> it is just the opposite and that was a shock for me and i suspect your audience is going through it themselves and realizes it is a shock to them. in "don't burn this book" i make some arguments that are
not thought of as mainstream arguments was i make approach a -- pro-choice pro-gay marriage argument, we were supposed to be told the right or the conservatives hate gay people. it is simply not true. i spoke at liberty university two years ago right before lockdowns, the largest evangelical -- event -- evangelical college in the united states, 4000 kids doing sunday invocation and i talk about being gay married myself, but with my husband for 10 years and i talk about being pro choice and got a standing ovation and a lot of people said we agree with you on so much, disagree with you on a couple things but that is okay. what i found, i make a pro-choice argument in the book which is not thought of as something on the right but there are conservatives like ruby giuliani who has been pro-choice his whole life. i have seen a plurality of thought and willingness to agree to disagree on the right while innocence with the modern
left is doing is saying these are the things we believe and if you don't believe them, the second we believe them you are now a bigot or racist or homophobic everything else and the conservatives who of course are not perfect are sort of saying let's have our defectors, our old-school liberals, libertarians, more traditional religious conservatives, i think that is 80% of america. the question is can that hold and how do we make sure it holds? that is what i'm interested in. i would rather build bridges and go to a place where scorched earth is. >> what happened to you when you came out as conservative or classically liberal? >> the hate was just unbelievable. the endless mobing online, having phone numbers leaked and
addresses leaked, the endless -- too much to go into. does the endless stuff that would go on online and i actually talk in the book i developed an autoimmune disorder from the stress, it is completely stress-related. i lost 40% of my hair. on my hair is a lot of hairspray but i met several people that have gone through something like this before. this, when we talk about cancel culture and the mob this is what people fear that their jobs will be attacked, family members will turn on them, that they will post something fairly counter, nothing radical but something have you seen this story, look at this from a different perspective, something you won't see on cnn or msnbc, i will post this on my facebook page and then you are being mobbed and attacked and people blocking you are calling you a nazi and calling
your place of work, so many go through this and the reason i used to talk about it and wrote about it in the book is when you get the other side, you will get there. they don't kill people yet. we are not at that level of sectarian violence which when you get the other side you will realize not only do you stand up for yourself which is the most important thing you can do as a human being but you will see there is fertile ground on the other side to talk to people. maybe it's not exactly the people you thought it was going to be but a pretty decent group of people. >> host: living in fear of the woke machine is not a good way of life. living in fear of the woke machine is not a good way of life? >> guest: it is a horrible way of life. one thing that separates us from the animals is we have the ability to think, to use logic and reason to solve problems, to build, to innovate.
that makes us human. if you as a human being don't say what you think or do what you are supposed to do. if you cower because of some amorphous mob out there that is what it is, who is the mob? it is hard to point at who it is. a lot comes from nonsense at the new york times and the washington post but hard to point at a specific person directing the mob but if you are just fearful that if you say what you think you're going to be destroyed you are destroying your self. this is the frog in the slowly boiling pot, the temperature won't be turned down. your acquiescence is turning the temperature up. you know it doesn't end welfare frogs. >> host: you have a chapter in "don't burn this book" called know, you are not a nazi. >> guest: you are not. if you bought my book i assure you you are not a nazi.
for most of the people in modern times, hitler - this is to get back to where we started the conversation, the need to label everybody the worst things because they have different opinions. not only is it a denigration of the past but an abusive language and these tactics are done by the same people who say everything is cultural appropriation, if you are unjustly calling different people nazis and bigots and everything else and the reason i wrote that chapter or titled it that way, it is somewhat tongue in cheek. they called you a nazi, you are still here. they called you this bad thing, you're still here. if you just keep going forward, doing what you believe is right, and being a decent human being and trying to connect with other decent human beings
you suddenly realize their cries of nazi-ism are false words and only have power if you give them it. >> host: i to bring in another person who played a role in your coming out as a conservative and that was larry elder. >> guest: i love larry elder. i'm at freedom fest. in los angeles, running for governor of los angeles, a very famous moment seen millions of times and clicked into oblivion on youtube where i was sitting down with larry elder, a conservative radio host, been in this fight for 30 years at this point, talked about systemic racism and i thought you say a phrase and it tends to be good. there must be systemic racism,
larry came at me about affirmative action and all the bad policies usually brought by the democrats to harm the black family, and beat me senseless. i put this in the book because it was a pivotal moment for me. when i finish the interview it wasn't aired live and when we finished the interview i went into the control room. there were several producers and everybody said we can cut that, don't worry about that. i said no, didn't even think about it. i am an interviewer, halfway decent at what i do. that is the moment that was real and i don't look great. i came to a knife fight and didn't bring a knife and larry was ready to roll. we have to wear it as is. once it went up a day or two later and started getting clicks and on youtube it was conservative radio host larry elder destroys -- i wasn't happy about it but i looked at the comments and people were
saying seems like dave listened and some of these ideas, that is what i did and continuing conversations, ben shapiro or dennis prager, several other conservatives, and even on education which i shifted a little more libertarian. even though i had disagreements with them they were happy to discuss it. that is true liberally. someone calls me a future conservative or modern conservative, it concerns liberalism. >> what is the reuben report and how did it come about? >> guest: it started as a straight up old-school just
like this, and interview show. we started 6 or 7 years ago when everything was shrinking, snapchat and my videos, everything was smaller and smaller. i thought it was fracturing our ability to talk to each other. i grew up watching and loving larry king, eventually became a friend and mentor and a bonus grandfather and i thought i would love to sit down with people for an hour or so and not have an agenda, never look down at my notes once and that's the best interview there is. i weave my way through a conversation. i tried to create a space that was open for anyone, i agree with people, sometimes i don't.
the last year or so the show has shifted. i do a daily show where i talk to the camera for half an hour and cover some stories. i don't consider myself a journalist but most journalists are journalists with air quotes and usually activists. i try to give a fair analysis of the news and make no homes that i have a particular lens through which i see the world and i try to do it with as much of a smile on my face as i can and a little bit of humor and make it fun for people and to not just be the talking head that is making everybody crazy. the best compliment i can get and i have heard it quite a few times at freedom fest is people say you're keeping me sane through the craziness. that is as good as it gets. there is a lot of crazy out there. i'm not trying to enrage people or make anyone vote a certain way or keep everybody outraged. i'm trying to lower the temperature and if i lay out a
couple principles i did in "don't burn this book" it is up to you to ask do you believe these things and maybe you don't but that is okay too. >> host: to paraphrase you from "don't burn this book," how can you think this way and be gay at the same time? >> it is obvious to me it is almost ridiculous was one of the saddest things that happened as gay people used to be about free thought. there is a reason so much music and culture and art came out of the gay community, it was a counterculture community, because of your sexuality, and created this wonderful sort of breeding ground for good things to pop up which is why so much interesting cultural stuff came from the gay community. i was never that embedded in the gay community, one of the sad things is however you
define community has become so monolithic and politically incorrect, gay people and drag queens at bars that were the most politically incorrect and now they are the most politically correct. you see moments where places, out magazine or the advocate a couple years ago where they wrote a piece about how peter teal, the paypal cofounder and billionaire magnet how he is not gay because he is a republican. it is like wait a minute. how are you guys who make everything about identity, sexuality and everything else now if someone's belief don't line up in the way you like you take away their sexuality which brings us back to what they were trying to do with david weber, you can't be a black man and believe these things. it is unfortunate to see that hysteria but i see a lot of gay people waking up to it.
>> host: where and how did you grow up? >> guest: i am a true new yorker. i grew up in brooklyn in 1976, spent my first couple years there, grew up in long island, my parents made it out of brooklyn. the american dream come you grow up in the city to make it to the suburbs, then went to suny basin, state university of new york and lived in manhattan most of my life, stayed there for years and in 2013 moved to los angeles was the only two places i've lived were new york in my formative years, new york city and in los angeles but the thing i talk about a lot of issues we talk about here are the things that resonate in the middle the country so living on both sides of the country the message became the middle of the country. >> host: is there such a thing as cancel culture?
>> guest: absolutely. you don't even need to ask me, go to facebook and see the people who are constantly attacked for anything they do. not to see you can't disagree with people. of course you disagree with people. this is the most liberal thing you can do. put your idea out there, let your idea be countered, battle those ideas and let the best ideas when, let sunlight be the best disinfectant. what we have decided to do is if we don't like something, if we don't like something from the past that we think we can cancel things from the past to remedy the present or painted a positive future. we've gotten rid of aunt jemima, nobody really knows why. we got rid of uncle ben, nobody really knows why. we are taking people off of products we see in stores. should we only see white people on products in stores and that would be the color of society? that sounds like white supremacist society if you only saw white people but that is
being brought to us by the supposedly tolerant progressives. one of the ones i love to bring up is who canceled an episode of the golden girls where betty white andrew mcclanahan were doing facemasks so they have brown facemasks on and walk out in the episode is about be arthur, her son mary a black woman in the whole episode is about two people from different places, coming together, families coming together. it would america is supposed to be about, but they removed that episode because of supposedly ask face by betty white. it wasn't blackface, secondly it is betty white, the most beloved woman in america and no one honestly believed if you removed that episode, you can no longer see that episode of the golden girls where two families came together over race that we become a more tolerant society. these things are making is a less tolerant society.
>> host: you refer to social media as an alternate reality. >> guest: yeah. it is an alternate reality especially twitter. we are inundated with other people's thoughts. there was a beauty to the internet. it was created, social media was created and in 20 years the promise of social media that this would make us more social creatures in many ways has made us more antisocial, filled with anxiety and fearful and angry at people and you realize somebody you went to high school with you used to like suddenly you hate their politics and you hate them and people are fighting all day long on all these things and all these things are free except we are the products, our digital souls are the product. what that leads to is a politically polarized situation which is what we are in.
i try not to tweet on the weekends. i do august off the grid so starting next week on august 1st i will be disappearing for one month, no phone, no computer, no television, absolutely nothing and i come back december 1st, comedian adam corolla will get me caught up on what i missed. it will be my fifth year doing it and i did it almost as a joke when it started but i realized over the years doing it gives me peace and sanity and a little space to reset. we are all in this matrix constantly and i don't think we have to be. it is making most of us be miserable. not everyone can do a month. how about a weekend? a saturday? >> host: isn't there a withdrawal factor that plays into that? >> guest: could you repeat that? >> host: isn't there a withdrawal factor that plays into that, going off the grid?
>> guest: absolutely there is a withdrawal factor. the first few days my hands go into my pockets, where is my phone, you get phantom buzzes, you're wondering what did i miss? what if a big news things happened and i don't get comments a tweet on it or whatever video i was going to watch on youtube, this is happened to me all the years i have done it and other people have joined me on this and give me the same feedback, a couple days where it could be tenuous or anxious and you're going to maybe i shouldn't do this or i am going to miss something but once you get over that hump four five days in, you start realizing we don't need these things. without these things that is how we lived for thousands and thousands of years. it is how human society was operating. i do remember a time pre-internet, a time before the iphone and in retrospect it was pretty good. wasn't it?
>> host: before we close, there is an endorsement on the front of your book, engaging, personable, reassuring, by doctor jordan peterson. >> jordan peterson is the preeminent public thinker of our time, clinical psychologist in toronto and professor at the university of toronto, jordan started getting into the political incorrect society, talking about bills in canada that they were going to penalize people if you miss gender somebody which was framed as against trans people, he's not against trans people, just didn't want the government to compel language. most logical people understand
the difference, that you should treat people with respect but the government shouldn't punish you for miss gender rings using the wrong pronoun or whatever it may be. that. jordan into the stratosphere in the online world. he wrote a book 12 is for life which was the number one selling book, salty million copies worldwide. i had the true honor of being on tour with jordan, we did 120 stops and it was spectacular and what i saw this man do was say this is what i believe, these are 12 rules that helped me live a decent life and every night, sold-out theater after sold-out theater and i would see people incorporating those ideas into their lives and they were sitting up straight with their shoulders back and taking the world on instead of cowering away from it and it was an extraordinary year,
jordan had some health issues but i know he will be back soon. >> host: dave rubin, host of the ruben report and author of "don't burn this book," thinking for yourself in an age of unreason joining us from the freedom fest libertarian convention in south dakota. .. >> brought amanda, empowerment, is why charter has invested billions building infrastructure upgrading technology, empowering opportunity in communities big and small. charter is connecting us, along with these television company support cspan2 as a public
service. >> beginning now it is history books on c-span to come this weekend explore our nations pass the cspan's american history tv, and watch book tv television for serious readers, today mount vernon tells a story and to revisit president george washington's farewell address in november 11, the centennial of arlington cemetery's tomb of the unknown soldier in the history and who was laid to rest there and you can find a full schedule of history programs in the program guide or by visiting cspan.org/history starting now, lectures in history the course with landscape architecture professor walter hood talks with the design plans for the new african-american museum being built in charleston, carolina. >> ladies and gentlemen, world-class walter